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Tag Archives: United States Navy

A Long December… Please!

It is December and I feel like time is running away from us. This weekend we have Hubs’ departments “Christmas Party”. One of the chiefs in the department is retiring, so they are also honoring him and they were going to host it at the Chief’s Club on base. It would have cost $40 per person and the feedback numbers were too low so they are hosting it at a restaurant in one of the local casinos. It will be a change from the command events to just departmental. Such is life in the Hospital, I suppose!

This weekend we are also having a pre-deployment photo shoot. The date is sneaking up on us, friends. I feel like I won’t have enough time with him before he goes. He got a new set of orders, specific to his training. DRUM ROLL PLEASE… part of it is right here at Camp Pendleton, but they are on Lock Down, which means he will be right around the corner and we can’t have dinner or weekends together. I know he will be at training, but it would be easier if he were not right here on base! Word on the streets is they have wi-fi, so we can face time every night! Silver lining? We also have gotten word that there is a “graduation” type ceremony once they get through training that family can go to. Of course I want to be there to help welcome my Sailor to the Army!

Right now he is doing intense training on-line about customs and behaviors to avoid. Things like not giving a thumbs up because it’s offensive. Not accepting cigarettes (which he doesn’t smoke, so no worries there) but never turning down coffee or tea. Different things that can be considered insulting to the people over there.

It’s so much to take in.

We’re trying to enjoy each other right now and the time we have left together. We are booked with exciting things throughout the month to celebrate our first Christmas together as husband and wife! We are planning a pre-deployment get-a-way for a few days, a day trip up to Big Bear, and a night at the ballet to see The Nutcracker (which neither of us have seen live!) so each time I look at my planner, it is increasingly filling up!

For now, I’m off to decorate some more and get excited for our final month together!

Weigh-In Season In Our House

If you are a military family you know all about weigh-in season. If you are not, allow me to explain. Twice a year (for the Navy, is it different in other branches?) active duty personnel have to complete their PT test and pass a weigh-in. There are height weight requirements set in place to keep members fit and healthy (and looking damn fine in uniform).

Every six months my house gets turned upside down at weigh-in season and I may as well be living with a high school wrestler. You’ve seen pictures of Hubs, he’s no fatty in the eyes of popular society but he is built mighty awkward. He is short and kind of stocky. He would pass every time if he were about an inch or two taller with absolutely no problems. He is not an inch or two taller and as a result he has been eating a banana for breakfast, and apple and banana for lunch and salad for dinner.

One year when we were first dating he was given 2 days to lose about ten pounds and weigh-in again. He lost about 12 pounds in those two days by drastic measures similar to those of high school wrestlers and worse, some of which were endorsed by his command and shipmates at the time. I feel it is inappropriate to write about these methods but it involved saran wrap, gel, a homemade sauna and little to no nutritional intake as well as a few other drastic measures.

Hubs passed his weigh-ins this week and a weight was lifted off my shoulders! I could now commence my regular cooking schedule and he could resume eating like a normal person. I won’t buy $14 dollars worth of beef only to have it go bad since we never got around to making that stew, since we were too busy eating salads or chicken!

He will never change: about a month to two before weigh-ins he hits his PT schedule hard (for him) and tightens the purse strings on his diet. He is a snacker… more a “grazer” in the snack aisle… and I have not seen him snack in I could not tell you how long. I guarantee tomorrow he’ll be back to it.

He does pretty good and keeps himself in check… I just wish we could stretch those legs an inch for him! How do I motivate him all year long instead standing by and watching the torment during the season? Deployment goal #1 set: join a gym. If I’m paying for it, I’ll use it and maybe he’ll join in when he gets back!

Emotional Terrorism

***If your spouse is

or will soon be

deployed::

This post may not be for you.***

***I am a Navy wife and the opinions in this post are solely those coming from my mind at this very moment. They are ideas planted in my head from movies created in Hollywood. They are fears and reflections of the way I view the army as I assume most civilians do. It is not meant to offend anyone, and I apologize in advance if my ignorance does just that.***

Hubs' Mini Medals... I guess we'll be adding some more bling to it soon!

I woke up this morning and headed to my appointment with Dr. J (my life coach… not the basketball Legend). The emotional terrorism began.

Adele came on the radio with “Someone Like You” and I could not get through the first line without losing it. I finally let myself sob openly. I allowed myself to be weak and leak all over the car. I approached Border Patrol that had traffic stopped on the freeway, sure they would stop the sobbing fool driving. they did not.

I pulled myself together long enough to get through my stay in the waiting room. Then I allowed myself to empty half a box of tissues as I openly wept. I’m talking the ugly cry, y’all. I told Dr. J I wanted to be strong for my husband and let him know he was not leaving a basket case behind. I told him I was scared but Army Wives aren’t scared, they are strong and I had to be too. He told me to open up and maybe write about it in my super secret journal… which translates into my super public blog.

I am scared. My husband has never been through the training soldiers have been through. My husband has never had to worry about shooting someone in their face. My husband has never had to worry about being covered from head to toe in sand. Since he has never had to worry, I have never had to worry. I am a Navy Wife. I worry about the sea, and pirates, and how he has to watch the same movies over and over again on repeat on the AFN TV. I am not an Army wife and I do not know how you all do it!

This is my main fear:: As a Navy Wife, I recognize that there are dangers during deployment, but let’s be honest with ourselves girls- there really isn’t. I have talked myself into a corner where my biggest fears during my husbands last two deployments was if he would have enough money to buy awesome souvenirs in Port. As a new [don’t really]wannabe Army wife my biggest fear is that soldiers come home in caskets. Soldiers fight hard and are brave! Soldiers are real heroes. Not to downplay the Navy (remember, I’m one of you!) but we are about to enter a whole new ballgame and I have zero unit support.

I am not one in a group of women going through deployment together. I won’t get the ombudsmen e-mails and weekly reminders that we are all awesome and holding down the home front so beautifully. I will not be coddled they way I was for our last two deployments. I will be all alone and so will my husband. He doesn’t know the people he is going to be with. They have not gotten to know the man who may become one of their battle buddies. He doesn’t know how to dig a fox hole!

I did some shopping to clear my head and prepared to make the most of the remaining time we have together. God has a plan for us, and I must remember that. I then openly wept all the way home. The radio did nothing to help as I wept through “Made In America” (Toby Keith), “God Gave Me You” (Blake Shelton), “I Got You” (Thompson Squared), and a few others. I wept and let my emotions out in the privacy of my own car… and now here in my Super Secret Journal… now if I can muster up the confidence to talk about how I feel with my husband so we can work on being scared together… or so he can reassure me he is secretly Rambo!

The Plans He Has For Us :: Etsy Love and More!

It was ironic that just before leaving for our trip back east, I purchased this print from a shop on etsy [Naptime Diaries]:

Image from shop: click on it to be taken to listing!

Jeremiah 29:11 has always spoken to me. From my life in an abused home knowing He had a plan for me to my life as a Navy wife knowing He had a plan for us! I could not resist the purchase of this piece to be placed somewhere in the home where I would see it everyday. With all that we face, it is so easy to let go of the fact that someone greater than ourselves has a greater plan for us!

It has never meant so much as it does today after learning the news that yes, friends, Hubs will be deploying… with the United States Army. Put a Navy wife on a Marine Base and deploy her husband with the Army. So we went from Hooyah, to Oorah, to Hooah just like that.

We have tried to remain light-hearted about it, joking about stateroom’s in the desert and the differences between sand and sea, but when it boils down to it, I could not hold in the tears as Hubs told me this afternoon. They already gave him his paperwork… a battle record or something. We don’t know how long, but we are thinking it will be a year.

What I do know is at least we can begin to process the facts we have. We can make the most of the holidays! We should be able to celebrate our “official” anniversary! We will fill our days with little things to make them better and time together just being there with one another.

I’ll be sure to hang the beautiful print somewhere I will be reminded daily not to whine, and to look to Him for strength! Buckle up, it’s going to be quite a ride.

HOOAH!

Not The Best Birthday Gift…

I write this to you all tonight, asking for your prayers, dear friends.

As we sat down for my birthday dinner (um, delicious Cheesesteak sandwiches!) Hubs’ phone dinged letting him now he had a voicemail. It was his boss. We went and got my phone which has much better reception than his. My first thought was that we’d be heading over to NOB and getting him on a MAC flight back home, two days into our trip. I was wrong.

As Hubs began telling his boss about his credentials and qualifications I thought nothing of it and walked into the house. I told Nan it was nothing- they just wanted to know when he met certain quals. NBD, right?

It was a mere moments later that Hubs was inside saying they wanted to deploy him IA (Individual Augmentee). He didn’t know where, he didn’t know when, he didn’t know for how long. That is the downside to working in the hospital: there is always a civilian who can step up and fill your shoes should a position need filled elsewhere in the world.

Happy Birthday.

We sat on the east coast waiting for the phone call we were hoping for: that his Boss was able to get his name out of the running. It was, after all, for a qualification he does not use on a daily basis or in his job, ever! Just something he did years ago when he was hoping for an internship.

Our time passed away in Norfolk and I anxiously waited on pins and needles just waiting for that call: the one telling us to get Hubs to the airport. The call never came.

Last night at the Navy Ball, we were standing during the cocktail hour talking with Hubs’ boss and his wife. Casual conversation. The XO and his wife came over and joined us in casual conversation. Nothing heavy, nothing work related. The CO joined in the conversation and the rest is kind of a blur. He pretty much said “How ’bout them apples, shipmate? So sorry!” I’m sorry, what? My heart sank.

The CO just as quickly left to make his rounds and we were left with Hubs’ boss. We asked for the all important deets, but all he knew was A-Stan. We don’t know when, or for how long. All I could say was a light-hearted “I hear it’s nice this time of year… Dessert Camo will definitely accentuate your features.”

As a military spouse I signed up to serve my country by supporting my husband in all of his career endeavors. A husband who was pretty much never going to deploy and would most likely always work in hospitals. A husband who signed up to serve his country in such a capacity. I recognize when one signs up to serve their country, they go where their country needs them. Right now, our country could use him in a very scary capacity for us. The limbo is what I hate. Hubs is not set to deploy as of right now, but his name is on a list… a list his superior officers could not prevent him from being on. Waiting to hear if he will deploy is one of the worst experiences in our relationship and my time as a military spouse.

Please pray for us, for answers (whatever the decision may be) and should the decision be to deploy, for strength for us both!

I was PROUD to be an American on September 10th

Ten years ago I was 16. Ten years ago I was a Junior in a high school under the flight lines leading to Oceana. I lived near the Naval Air Station attached to NOB. Ten years ago as I was at my locker going from Algebra 2 to Public Speaking people were in a panic. While sitting in my Public Speaking class the principal came over the loud-speaker once more and we prayed (as I went to a Catholic school). Our teacher broke some recommendations from Father (the principal) and turned on the television. I sat there and just wanted the media to stop playing the now infamous video of the second tower being hit.

Ten years later I feel the same way.

I recognize that everyone has the freedom of speech, and yet we sometimes shouldn’t use that freedom. As a military wife I’ve learned to keep certain opinions to myself, or between my husband and I. Trust me, there are many views that I hold that just aren’t the popular opinion. I just can’t hold this one in anymore and know there must be others out there who both love this country and yet share this view with me.

The media has gotten out of control. Why do we, as Americans, continue to relive the pain from that day? Do you need to see the images to be reminded of your pride in America; your pride as an American? I don’t need to watch Vietnam or WWII (dubya, dubya two) movies to stand up and thank Vets when they walk by.

from Google via Elizabeth on Pinterest

We will never forget the terror that struck America that day, but I promise you this: I was proud to be an American on September 10, 2001. I was proud to be an American on everyday, for 16 years before then as well. I supported our troops and had pride in the men and women who served this great country before then. I saw honor in our military, our brothers in blue, and the brave men and women who run into burning buildings for a living. I had a sense of pride in the people who save us, before the dreadful day they had to try to save so many. Even at 16 I recognized that on September 12, 2001 it was hard to find a bumper that didn’t have an “I Love Jet Noise” bumper sticker and folks talking about “the sounds of Freedom!”

I have also had the extreme pleasure of seeing this song performed live, by Lee Greenwood, and there is nothing as moving my friends- nothing.

Play this song on some random day: February 3, April 16… any day other than July 4th, Memorial Day or 9/11 – show your patriotism year round.

Quite frankly, I am ready for Monday. I am ready to not have to see the images, to not hear the stories. I am also curious how future generations will hear the stories and events of the day. After being to NYC several times in my youth, I hope they learn of the majesty that was those towers and the strength of a city to continue after such devastation.

As with every Thursday, I’ll be linking up with Amber over at Goodnight Moon! For some awesome songs, head on over and check her out!

*The views expressed are the sole views of myself and do not reflect the views of my husband, the United States Navy or the DoD.

Why, Oh Why, Wyoming

Posted on

You thought this was a square with a heart? No, it's Wyoming.

Retirement. It is something I think of almost obsessively. Yes: I am 26. Yes, my husband has another [hopeful] 20 years in the United States Navy. It is the United States Navy that has given me this complex of nomad-ness. We don’t really have a “home” anymore. We love it here in Fallbrook, but let’s be honest- California is just too expensive to buy a house and come back “home” to when our time moving is over and done with.

Hubs is from South Carolina, and let’s be honest: After “suffering” through the Southern California heat- there is no way we are ever moving back to the south on our own recognizance. I grew up half of my life in Connecticut and the other half in Virginia. Virginia: hello humidity! Connecticut: Hello worst memories of my life! The only plus to New England would be a summer home on the Cape!

I often think about not having children, and by the time retirement hits we can pack our belongings in storage, buy an RV, and travel across the United States looking for the perfect home to call our own! There are only 48 Continental states and 52 weeks in the year, so we would have time for the military to still move us there!

We once thought Yuma, AZ would be nice. I think the heat got to our heads. We also thought Texas would be good- you just can’t beat the BBQ we had at one place as we were driving through last summer. Now, your old pal Hubs has chosen WYOMING as his next dream retirement destination. I can see a spring vacation there in our future!

These are the things we sit and discuss, dreaming about our future, on Friday nights. Let’s just see how many times this changes over the course of the next 20-25 years!